By Empraim Njega
TEN REASONS WHY OUR CORONAVIRUS CONTAINMENT MEASURES AREN’T WORKING
These are the reasons why the measures being implemented by the government to control COVID19 in Kenya will not be effective;
1. The measures are reactive rather than proactive i.e why wait for things to worsen before enhancing measures? We asked for grounding of flights but it was only done when it was too late. This is causing delays and making it hard to stay ahead of the curve. The virus is chasing us instead of us chasing it
2. Most of the measures are vague. When banning social gatherings why not prescribe the exact number of people constituting a social gathering? Are restaurants banned or not? Why close down food markets?
3. The measures have no timelines. We should be announcing measures say for 14 days instead of an indefinite period. The measures should be reviewed after the set time and either relaxed, scrapped, maintained or enhanced. This should be evidence based
4. The measures are half-hearted. We are just gambling. Instead of announcing a well planned and funded lockdown we are announcing small inefficient measures that can’t slowdown the virus. We think we are saving the economy but in the end we will lose everything. Two week shutdown can’t kill the economy. The economy can be revived but dead people can’t be brought back to life
5. Our measures are not grounded in logic. Before announcing a measure provide a logical explanation on why it is necessary, provide necessary exemption and mitigate its effects. What is the logic behind the curfew? How do we mitigate the adverse effects of the curfew? How long will it last?
6. Our measures have no legal backing. Are all the measures announced well documented in a gazette notice? Have they been debated by MPs? Are they lawful? Why not declare a state of emergency over this disaster? Have we even declared a national disaster? What would be the legal basis of enforcing these measures? What are the consequences for defying them?
7. Poor coordination. It is not clear on who is in charge of this effort. This is a war without a general. The coordination between national and county governments is also very poor and characterised by confusion and contradiction
8. Lucklustre enforcement. What Mutahi Kagwe is announcing is just a wish list. There’s no sign that the government has any efficient enforcement mechanism in place. Only the curfew has been strictly enforced because it is easy to do so
9. Indiscipline. Both government and the citizenry have no discipline to observe the strict containment measures
10. No budget or funding. The government is unable and unwilling to provide funding for the containment measures. This is not how stuff works.
By the way was Dagoreth South MP Hon KJ Kiarie (in the cover photo) arrested and interrogated by DCI for sharing factual information before ahead of CS Kagwe or what was the charge?